BayLou Featured Project: Launch of Federal Financial Institution [CDFI]


The development of Community Development Financial Institutions (or CDFIs), is a vital undertaking for under-resourced areas, particularly in urban and rural settings. One of our most fulfilling client engagements, under our predecessor entity (Digital Millennium, LLC), involved end-to-end business and technology services to bring online the Avondale Community Federal Credit Union, launched in Cincinnati, OH.

Across America, urban communities and rural areas often find themselves at an economic disadvantage without the presence of a financial institution. Such as the case for the Cincinnati, OH community of Avondale where 19,000 resident lived. We were honored to have the opportunity to lead the establishment of a CDFI to serve individuals, businesses, and organizations connected to one of the region’s most historic communities.

ii-CDFIComprehensive business and technology services…

Developed proposals and a comprehensive business plan that secured a federal charter from the National Credit Union Administration [NCUA] which oversees all federal CUs – at that time representing over $900 billion in assets.

Developed a comprehensive environmental analysis in-conjunction with business planning efforts related to the launch of a federally-chartered CDFI. Services included: competitive analysis of financial services companies; demographics analysis of potential client base; regulatory analysis of key federal laws that would impact a new financial institution; technology analysis of the key capabilities that will provide competitive advantages. This work identified: target consumer segments, financial services and phasing of their introduction, pricing strategies, key considerations for operations design and financial policy, and institutional sources to capitalize the venture.

Other project responsibilities included: regulatory agency interface for chartering process, establishing the facility, procurement/contracting, security installations and procedures, developing arbitrage strategy, writing financial management policies, hiring staff, configuring the computer network and remote-banking voice activation servers, coordinating cash management procedures, executing a marketing program, and post-chartering interface with regulatory examiners.

NCUA officials noted of the business plan presented to NCUA regulators, it was one of the best proposals NCUA had ever received. Presented business plan to financial institutions throughout Southwest Ohio, successfully attracting institutional deposits and startup capital.

This project received attention in the prestigious Harvard Business Review.